Moral Low Ground


Henderson, Nevada City Council Awards Adam Greene, Brutally Beaten by Cops While in Diabetic Shock, $158,500

A Nevada man whose diabetic shock was misinterpreted by police as drunk driving and who was subsequently brutally beaten has been awarded $158,500 by local officials, plus additional money from the state and nearly $100,000 more for his wife.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Henderson City Council approved $158,000 in compensation for Adam Greene, as well as $99,000 for his wife. The state of Nevada will also pay $35,000 to Greene, for a total of $292,000.

In the early morning hours of October 29, 2010, Greene was driving in Henderson when he went into diabetic shock. Henderson Police officers and Nevada Highway Patrol units gave chase; it was a dashboard camera in a Highway Patrol cruiser that captured the shocking events that followed.

After Greene’s car stops, an officer approaches the door with his gun drawn. He orders Greene not to move, then commands him to “come here.” A swarm of officers then pulls Greene from his vehicle as the car rolls away on its own. The officers wrestle Greene to the ground where about half a dozen of them pile on him, raining blows upon the helpless victim.

“Stop resisting, motherfucker,” one of the officers repeatedly shouts.

But Greene wasn’t resisting. He couldn’t even move due to the combination of diabetic shock and police brutality. He can be heard screaming in agony as the cops continue their furious assault. One officer can be seen kicking Greene in the head or face. Eventually the beaten man is handcuffed and the beating stops.

“Anybody hurt?” one of the officers asks his colleagues. Someone was hurt– Greene– but the cops seem indifferent to his suffering.

Before too long, however, the officers realized that something was terribly wrong.

“We found some insulin in his pocket,” one of them informs dispatch. “Call in medical… let’s get medical out here. He’s diabetic, he’s probably in shock,” the officer realizes as he communicates with dispatch.

Minutes later, the officers laugh and joke about their brutality.

One of them remarks how Greene “wasn’t a small guy.” Another cackles: “I couldn’t take him by myself.”

Paramedics soon arrived and treated Greene for low blood sugar. He was then released without a citation. Officers apologized for “beating him up.”

Greene drove himself to the hospital, where he was treated for broken ribs and bruising to his hands, neck, face and scalp.

The names of the officers involved in the brutal beating have not been released, nor were they named in Greene’s subsequent lawsuit. Henderson Police officials told the Review-Journal that one sergeant involved in the attack, who is still with the department, was disciplined.

The Henderson Police Department also released a statement following the settlement that read, in part:

As a result of this incident and the internal investigation, Henderson Police Jutta Chambers ordered a closer look at the training Henderson officers receive. The training on use of force techniques was subsequently modified. These changes were implemented during 2011 and the Henderson Police Department has subsequently seen a 30 percent reduction in total use of force incidents from 567 in 2010 to 396 in 2011.

The mark of a good organization is the ability to take a look at any situation as an opportunity to improve. The Henderson Police Department is committed to ensuring the men and women of our department are held to the highest standard.

Alan Yatvin, a legal advocate for the American Diabetes Association, told the Review-Journal that this sort of thing is not uncommon as police often mistake hypoglycemia– low blood sugar– for drunkenness.

“You need police to be trained in what to look for,” he told the paper. “The problem is, there’s no authority over all police departments. Every department has its own procedures, and states have different rules and training regimens.”


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